eBay pen pal Carl Icahn strikes again over Skype deal

eBay pen pal Carl Icahn strikes again over Skype deal

Summary: Icahn's latest blasts the defenses laid out by eBay and one of its directors, Marc Andreessen, over the Skype deal.

TOPICS: E-Commerce

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn fired off another letter to eBay shareholders and again reiterated that director Marc Andreessen had too many conflicts during the Skype sale.

Icahn and Andreessen have been volleying posts and letters in recent days. Icahn's beef is that Andreessen couldn't have been able to recuse himself from eBay deliberations over what to do with Skype. eBay acquired Skype in 2005 for $2.5 billion, said in 2009 that it would separate the unit and launch an IPO and then sold the company to a venture group that included Andreessen in 2009 for $1.9 billion and a $125 million note.

Also: EBay founder rebuffs Carl Icahn, defends CEO and board in new memo | Icahn ratchets up eBay rhetoric by slamming Andreessen, Cook for conflicts of interest | eBay CEO Donahoe gives Icahn e-commerce tutorial over PayPal plan

What's the end game here? Icahn wants to portray eBay's board as a mess. If he succeeds, the investor will have a better chance of making his case that eBay should spin off PayPal in a move that may not make a ton of sense.

Icahn noted:

I have a message for eBay’s board: You may be able to duck and weave when it comes to the media, but in a few short weeks you will have no choice but to face your stockholders at the annual meeting. We all deserve to know the truth about what really happened with Skype.

Topic: E-Commerce

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  • Hack, hack, hack

    That's right, butcher the company in a manner that makes no strategic sense, other than to make a quick buck, by short term investors. Don't these short term investors just warm your heart? Many of company boards should say to these guys the same thing Tim Cook said to some investors recently. If you don't like the direction the company is headed, go invest in something else.
    P. Douglas
    • I agree ...

      ... I'm amazed the company rises to the bait. He's clearly there for short-term profit, but will do long-term damage.

      Instaed of detailed resposnses, they should have given him the minimum, telling him to wait until the AGM - then blasted him with all guns. They'd get the initial press support, and the shares would rise - messing up his plan, even if they fell back later.

      Badly handled.
  • Of course it may not make a ton of sense.

    but it would likely make Icahn a ton of money.
  • Insane...

    Ebay owning Paypal isn't like Ford owning Ben & Jerry's. PayPal offers eBay a rightly integrated payment system that allows vendors to circumvent credit card fees (because money is often deducted directly from bank accounts).

    This guy reminds me of Gordon Gekko in the original "Wall Street" telling Charlie Sheen atht he wants to wreck the airline his dad works for "because it's wreckable."
  • Icahn vs. eBay

    Icahn is only scratching the surface. eBay is the Enron of the online auction websites. eBay is not only lying (in a number of areas about a number of issues) to the small sellers and their buying customer user base, they are lying to their board of directors, shareholders and Wall St. Their books are cooked to keep their numbers propped up to continue presenting a "snow job" to stock analysts. Icahn needs to go a lot further and a lot deeper into what's really been going on at eBay since Donahoe took over back in 2008. EBAYGATE will make Watergate look like child' play when the truth finally comes out.